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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Group Leader for Earth System Modeling in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311962

Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences

Division: Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change

Group: Earth System Analysis & Modeling

Job Description

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) seeks a Group Leader for Earth System Modeling to lead a scientific research organization of about 50 principal investigators, staff scientists and postgraduates, and to build research programs, equivalent to tenured faculty or department head position. Earth System Modeling is an integral component of the Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division encompassing technical teams in the areas of Aerosol & Aerosol-Cloud Interactions, Computational Climate Science, Global Atmospheric Modeling, Land System Modeling, and Regional & Cloud Modeling. The Earth System Modeling group works closely with the other research teams in the areas of climate science. The Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division is responsible for a research portfolio focused on the understanding of Earth system, climate, hydrological cycle, weather extremes, and renewable energy. The successful individual will provide leadership to advance climate sciences broadly at PNNL as well as excellent management of a productive and influential research organization.

The successful candidate will quickly learn about the group’s science, capabilities and operations to advance the effectiveness and S&T impact of the group. The successful candidate will value multidisciplinary collaborations, will develop teams for program development, and will have responsibility for asset management to ensure facilities, equipment, and computational resources are adequate and ready to carry out our research portfolio. The successful candidate will help set the agenda for computational Earth system research directions at PNNL, assist staff members to find opportunities for engaging in research efforts, and ensure ongoing research programs led by staff are productive and impactful. Senior candidates are expected to establish themselves as independent principal investigators through competitive proposals, and serve as an active resource for others, mentoring early career staff in proposal and scientific career development.

When applying please include the following in a single document:

  • Cover letter describing your management and research experience and interests;

  • Curriculum vitae with list of publications in refereed journals;

  • Names and addresses of three references.

Managerial responsibilities include the following:

  • Provide scientific and technological leadership and effective line management for the Earth System Modeling Group. Mentor Teams and Team Leads, encourage a continued upward trend in scientific productivity and impact, and ensure safe and secure operations within the group.

  • Collaborate with sector managers and others inside and outside PNNL to develop new research programs for the group and the division.

  • Develop expertise in the organization through hiring and mentorship, ensuring access to resources needed for research efforts. Recruit outstanding new staff to meet current and anticipated needs and to build new capability areas aligned with EBSD and PNNL strategic priorities, and support career growth for group members, including annual performance reviews and career planning activities.

  • Participate in division and directorate-level operational, strategic planning, and line management meetings. Maintain effective operations within the organization including the management of overhead budgets to achieve operational targets and compliance with policies & procedures.

  • Business management of research activities, including employee time reporting, safety and risk assessment.

  • Represent the group and its research activities to others inside and outside PNNL, in both scientific and management forums and provide leadership that will advance computational science broadly at PNNL.

Research responsibilities include the following:

  • Lead and contribute to research teams, leading to high-value results such as high-impact peer-reviewed publications, developing expertise and ideas, and mentoring scientific staff.

  • Develop independently funded research programs through competitive proposals and collaboration with internal and external scientists.

  • Contribute to external R&D activities including sponsor workshops, professional societies and national research committees that set the future research agenda.

The hiring level will be determined based on the education, experience and skill set of the successful candidate based on the following:

Level 4 : Selects and develops technical approaches to complex challenges. Principal investigator or co-PI on multiple or significantly complex, and/or high risk projects or tasks and/or involving multiple tasks, capabilities, and organizations. Develops, and realizes new significant project opportunities, leading the development of technical sections of large proposals. Takes lead in scope, schedule, and budget for projects or large tasks Demonstrates ability to acquire funding for self and task level teams. Serves as a role model for quality, safety, and security. May contribute to directorate level operational improvement activities.

Level 5 : Conceives, plans, and executes R&D with considerable influence on scientific and technological developments. Displays considerable leadership in defining scientific and technical objectives across programs. Leads in the capture, planning, and technical execution of complex interdisciplinary projects and programs across organizational boundaries with lab level impact, and outside of the laboratory. Captures and enables sufficient funding to support self and project teams. Serves as a role model for quality, safety, and security. Contributes to directorate level or lab level operational improvement activities.

Minimum Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 7 years of experience MS/MA with 5 years of experience PhD with 3 years of experience.

  • Demonstrated experience using models, data sets, and/or advanced instruments to address Earth system science

Preferred Qualifications

  • BS/BA with 9 years of experience MS/MA with 7 years of experience PhD with 5 years of experience.

  • PhD in earth, atmospheric, environmental, geological, hydrological sciences or other related field with 8+ years’ experience;

  • Strong demonstrated record of accomplishment with high-impact publications, invited presentations and leadership/visibility within scientific community and funding sponsors.

  • Demonstrated experience using atmosphere models (e.g., EAM, CAM, FV3, WRF) and/or earth system models (e.g., CESM, E3SM).

  • Demonstrated program development, project management, and PI funded research programs.

  • Demonstrated mentorship, career development and/or line management experience.

  • Experience with multidisciplinary, multi-institutional teams is highly important.

  • Excellent communications, interpersonal, teamwork and leadership skills.

  • Strong interpersonal communication skills;

  • Ability to publish work in peer-reviewed journals;

  • Strong team player with the willingness and ability to work independently.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences

Job Category: Scientists/Scientific Support

Group: Atmospher Sci & Global Chg

Opening Date: 2021-04-07

Closing Date: 2021-06-06